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July 14, 2020 7:05 am
Today on Insight for living.
Chuck Swindoll declares this comforting truth about God, our God is for us and not against us. God is greater then our heart and knows all he is omniscient, he knows all things. He knows all the motives that he knows back behind the scenes.
What prompted us to do what we did. He knows if our thoughts were pure and he is in our defense, wonderful thing about never get that line feeling in years done something wrong.
Maybe it's a bad memory from your past relationship to turn sour and you're not sure whether the guilty feeling comes from God, or whether it's a self-inflicted case of shame today on Insight for living, our topic is you and your conscience as Chuck Swindoll teaches from first John chapter 3 will discover the liberating role of the Holy Spirit relieves us from the repressive feelings of guilt originally presented in a Sunday morning worship service. Chuck offered these opening remarks the day of pluralism where there are so many voices to follow so important that you follow Christ.
If you've never trusted personally trusted in him for eternal life.
That is the most important decision you can make your visiting with us and this is information you've not heard before, or it's been scrambled. The message today is the Christ is the king.
He is the Savior's cross hangs up here represents the place where he paid the penalty for your sins and for my by trusting in him you can have his life eternal kind of life really reading about that life. In the letter. John wrote called his first letter, and were in the third chapter, we come to the last six verses as we work our way through this interesting and somewhat complicated letter to make the reading more meaningful and to show our respect for our God who is given us his word may we stand together for the reading of first John 319 through 24. We will know by this that we are of the truth, and will ensure our hearts before him in whatever our heart condemns us, for God is greater than our heart and knows all things.
Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God and whatever we ask, we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do the things that are pleasing in his sight. This is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his son Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as he commanded us the one who keeps his commandments abides in him and he and him we know by this that he abides in us by the spirit whom he has given us the Lord be honored in the reading and delivery of this passage of Scripture and in our living. Please be seated for living to search the Scriptures with Chuck Swindoll.
Be sure to download his searching the Scriptures. Studies by going to Insight world.or/studies and now the message called you and your conscience.
Most of us are putting in the hands of our conscience. Let's face it said that inner voice inside of us gets our attention one way or the other sometime. It's during the bright sunshine of the day and occasionally keeps us awake during the night like a man late in April who couldn't sleep and finally awoke in the middle of the night and found a pen and an envelope in fill out a check and he wrote the IRS and he said there sir. Enclosed you will find a check for hundred $50. I cannot sleep because I cheated on my income tax. If I still cannot sleep. I'll send you the rest well, that's one way to respond to your conscience. There other times that the constant speaks and good things occur that sustain good for the rest of our lives is what happened to Tom Anderson Gary in rig in his fine book, true North rights of Tom Anderson.
Tom wrote I made a vow to myself on the drive down to the vacation beach. The beach cottage for two weeks I would try to be a loving husband and father.
Totally loving. No if's and's or butts. The idea had come to me as I listen to a commentator on my cars tape player he was quoting a biblical passage about husbands being thoughtful of their wives that he went on to say love is an act of the will. A person can choose to love to myself I had to admit that I had been a selfish husband listen to his conscience.
I had to admit that I had been a selfish husband that I love had been billed by my own insensitivity in petty ways really chiding Evelyn for her tardiness, insisting on the TV channel I wanted to watch drawing out day old newspapers before Evelyn had a chance to read the will for two weeks.
All that would change and it did right from the moment I kissed Evelyn at the door and said that yellow sweater looks great on you all, she you notice he said surprised and pleased maybe a little shocked after the long drive. I wanted to sit and read Evelyn suggested a walk on the beach I started to refuse than I thought. Evelyn's been alone with all the kids for weeks now she wants to be alone with me.
We walked on the beach while the children flew their kites.
So it went.
Two weeks of not calling the Wall Street investment firm, where I am a director visit to the Shell Museum. Though I usually hate museums, holding my tongue while Evelyn was getting ready made us late for dinner, relaxed and happy. That's how the whole vacation past.
I made a vow to keep on remembering to choose love. There was one thing that went wrong with my experiment. However, on the last night at our cottage preparing for bed. Evelyn stared at me with the saddest expression. What's the matter I asked her Tom. She said in a voice filled with distress the you know something I don't know what what you mean well that checkup. I had several weeks ago by Dr. did he tell you something about me Tom you been so good to me and my dying took a moment for it all to sink in. Then I burst out laughing behind me know. I said, wrapping her in my arms you're not dying I'm just starting to live in our journey through John's first letter we have come to the moment where our conscience has begun to prick us. John is not only gained age over the passing of these 90+ years. He's gained wisdom in the something wonderful about a great writer. He or she puts himself in the mind of the reader. John does that here again and again.
You may recall, he is exhorted us to love God and to and to love one another as those that do love one another. There's no there's there's no substitute for that love God, love one another and he said it over and over again.
It is like were stabbed in our conscience you. I love like that. If I this is a little later. Don't love the world are the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the father is an enemy in a conscience is through.
I love the world more than I love God, you can't read the letter. John and not think that if you have a conscience and we all do, and then it makes us squirm when we see that that if you eat if you hate another person. It's like murdering, and those who love God don't have murder in their hearts.
Conscience pricks us because we've we've hated people.
I have you have that isn't enough, he tells the story of Cain and Abel were Cain literally murders his brother's because he hated and so it was so out of touch with God and we feel like in any given moment in a rage.
I could've done somebody I so by now you're thinking am I lost this John Doe, something that that I don't know know know know he just wants to help us know how to live. But that doesn't just happen by us a sentence or two. We need a little interlude we need are two weeks at the cottage. If you will.
We need a little break. We can take a deep breath and understand that the conscience while it is often speaking to us. It may be incriminating us when it should not, or it may be convicting us when it should. That's what these verses are about an believe me, I struggle with the six versus member I told you when I first got started out a letter of first John, I thought piece a cake. What will will ace this would without a problem and I wasn't to chapters into it more. I thought why on earth are there five chapters. Why not just to get this over and done with the top letter you gotta think in this case, you gotta think about your conscience. Just as I must about mine, called here are part show you how I came to the thought that this is a digression a little interlude look at the beginning of verse 19, we will know by this look at the end of verse 24. The last sentence begins. We know by this like parentheses like brackets or if you will book we will know by this we know by this John is pausing and helping us take a breath and to look closer at what he has to say. By the way, don't you love it that he includes himself. There are wheezing hours and buses in these verses John includes himself. I always love that about a writer that I'm reading where I don't feel he's looking down on the reader, but is identifying with John himself would have to admit there are people he doesn't enjoy being around. There are times in his life and he is hated someone. There are occasions when his conscience is troubled, so this is to calm us and help us take out take a little better look without making light of any of it. This is to help us see what's really here and to understand is not because were lost that we do these things because were human being human. We will fail.
Let me also point out if I made that there's a difference in punctuation.
If I may change the punctuation sometime very strong hearted believers stare at me when I talk about changing punctuate the punctuation isn't inspired okay.
Just like the chapter breaks aren't inspired, the members of the verses aren't inspired been over this. I suggest.
Right after the word truth. In verse 19, rather than a, that'll help. The sentence makes we will know by this that we are of the truth. Sometimes the change of punctuation helps. I'm thinking of a passage in Ephesians chapter 4 that says let him who steals steel no more, but rather let him labor, working with his own hands even change the punctuation you change the whole meaning that him was still steel no more. Let him labor, working with his hands. Just one. Her, and you change the whole thing not, I suggest here there is a there's a break at the end of verse two. I at at at at the end of the word truth right here in the middle of verse 19, we will know by this that we are of the true that's an arrow that looks back up.
So remember, when you get to a complicated bear with me through this is all important. Understanding our Bibles when you get to a complicated section of Scripture always integrated with the context always look where we have been when you're dealing with where we are in this case it goes back to verse 11, and even beyond. But over in verse 11, chapter 3 it says this is the message which you have heard from the beginning that we should love one another and everything from 11 to 18 is about loving one another. It includes Cano didn't love his brother.
It includes us, who may not love in word or deed, and lest you think that you are lost because you don't. John ends that section with this part of verse 19 below by this that we are of the truth by what by our words and deeds. There is in the person hearing me right now who is not done something good for someone else, even if it was a word of encouragement, even if it was a comforting arm around her shoulder with the written grief or sorrow or morals or maybe it was a letter on a note of.
Thank you. You've done that.
That's loving in word and in deed and John says we will know by this that we are of the truth. Don't don't think for a moment that all of this means you lost is another thing to remember next keywords see the word truth. In verse 19 we referred to it several times read a little further.
We will not only by this know that we are of the truth, we will assure our heart before in whatever way are hard. Me and Dennis. First is the word truth. Truth.
Truth is inseparably linked with the person of Christ. Men and women we live in a postmodern era where you will rarely hear the words the truth where because today everybody's opinion is equally valuable. Equally important. Everybody's believe is to be equally admired equally respected. Don't be narrow tolerant to the to the breaking point. That's the marching order of today, but in the Bible you will read of the truth. Jesus himself said I am the way, what's next. The truth, the life yes not a way, a body of truth know the truth. So if you know Christ more of the truth and because you know Christ you have his word. His book to guide you into His Way, Jesus provides us with an ability to grasp his word and thereby gain the knowledge of the truth now say to you before I go any further, there is nothing like knowing the truth to live at peace with yourself. Those who do not know the truth and live their lives constantly unsure, lacking in confidence, lacking in assurance, fearful of sickness scared to death of death know know the truth.
But if you know the truth.
It's amazing how that will assure your heart. Now the word heart also is a keyword it's a term that I'm handling it as conscience understand the heart and the Bible rarely has to do with the muscle in the chest that pumps blood occasionally it does, but rarely more often than not, the heart is the place where decisions are made were emotions restored and expressed in the Bible. If you are afraid you may be described as being fearful of heart. If you are confident you may be described as one who is bold and heart that that's the meaning here when you read hard so in our case it's content conscience when you know where you stand.
Listen to this, it will trump all other feelings.
Feelings from the heart that come out and would not dislodge you or give you unrest when you know the truth. It's remarkable how that will guide your emotions so let's put to bed forever. The old saying, let your conscience be your guide. Not always. Why well my friends, because your conscience has been shaped since early childhood, by the things you have been told instruction that came from parents from friends from teachers along the way and your conscience therefore may be skewed. You may have been told there's nothing wrong with that with this and so you participate in it and your conscience isn't bothered by it because you were told from earliest years is nothing wrong with it but a biblical principle may be violated, and it affects your conscience, so it's not is not that your conscience is your guide. It's the truth. These are guide and the truth will dictate to the contrary, you've been very patient to listen to me through some of you look at me like why and so let's go on and say we make sense of all of this versus 19 and 20. Let's go to the heart that condemns by that it means down inside your conscience is saying something is wrong. This is a good don't go any further deal with this guy that couldn't sleep the right.
Now that we talk about a conscience that condemns us look closely. 19. We will know about this and we are of the truth that looks back to where we been, and we will assure our hearts before him. That's God in whatever way our heart may be condemning us know the words.
We will in our weakness struggling with the conscience that feels guilty. We will find ourselves assured before God.
We realize the truth is saying nothing is wrong with what you have done everything right about it even though you were told earlier in life that it was wrong or vice versa. The best part of this is the greatness of our God, look at what it says of him, for in fact go before God with that because God is greater than our heart and knows all things. He is omniscient, he knows all the things he knows all the motives that he knows that behind-the-scenes what prompted us to do what we did. He knows it. If our thoughts were pure and he is in our defense, our God is for us and not against us wonderful thing about our God. John Stott writes of this, listen to his words. There are three actors in this spiritual drama free speakers in this inward debate is a kind of trial with our heart is the accuser ourselves is the defendant and God is the judge if our heart condemns us. We who are distinct from our heart can stand outside it and reassure our hearts.
Misgivings had that happened in my life and you had happened and yours. I realized that what I've done is the right thing, even though it wasn't understood or accepted or affirmed by those around me. This is what's called moral courage, and our great God honors that kind of moral courage keeps us from thinking I must be out of touch.
I'm I'm unspiritual or too far gone the worst thought. I'm absolutely lost lost time. Not even a Christian know none of that is true in the truth you know will help convince you that that's not true. This study in first John helps us understand the critical importance of discerning truth from error. You're listening to Insight for living in the Bible teaching of Chuck Swindoll. If you've missed any portion of our current series. Remember, you can easily listen online at our website or through our convenient mobile app.
Just follow the instructions it Insight world.org this summer. Churches are beginning to find their way back from a season of isolation, even though our gatherings have limitations. This hasn't diminished God's call upon Christians to become salt and light in their communities, which are presented to messages based on Romans 12 that clearly challenge believers to show love to our enemies to leave vengeance with God and to live in harmony with one another that sets the bar really high, especially in times like these when we feel overpowered by violence in our streets, we believe you'll find the biblical principles in this two-part miniseries helpful is called loving one another to purchase the said go to Insight.org/offer or if you're listening in the United States. Call 1-800-772-8888 as we close, let me suggest another way to leverage her concerns about our culture at Insight for living ministries were looking to add more monthly companion to our team a monthly companion to someone who believes in our mission and agrees to give a donation every month. In this way, you're making it possible for people right here in your community and even around the world to benefit from Chuck's presentation of grace, just as you have when you give in this matter.
Your becoming the hands and feet of Christ love so to become a monthly companion right now because listening in the United States dial 1-800-772-8888 that's 1-800-772-8888 and to give a much needed one time donation, visit us email@example.com again tomorrow. Chuck Swindoll talks about right here Insight for living. The preceding message you in your conscience and the sound recording copyright in 2009 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. all rights are reserved worldwide. Duplication of copyrighted material for commercial use is strictly prohibited